I was not able to attend the class visit to the Occidental Special Collections so I made an appointment during the day to come in and meet with the Special Collections librarian and gain a little insight to some of the artifacts on my own time. When I visited the Special Collections, I was quickly fascinated by the extensive collection of artifacts Occidental held in their possession. The attendant was very helpful and brought out a few artifacts that she believed would help me garner greater insight towards the era that we are currently studying in class. I chose this artifact of “Minstrel Songs Old and New” which appears to be published by Oliver Ditson & Co. The worn cover displayed the obvious aging of the book full of sheet music. Gothic style font was popular for the 19th century also showcasing the time period the book was published. As shown above, I have selected the first song of the book called “Old Folks at Home,” written and composed by S.C. Foster. There are many features of this sheet of music that I find quite interesting at first glance. For one, the notes and rhythm can be easily decoded as it seems that the notation for music theory has remained consistent even to this date. Symbols such as half-notes and quarter notes are quite simple, yet easy to understand for any competent musician even today. One element that is excluded in this early sheet of music is the time signature at the beginning of the bars. I question the composer’s exclusion of this element as it is quite vital in today’s music to understand how the composition is counted through the measurement of certain beats.